People on the Move


Internal Displacement: a Global Humanitarian Crisis

Disaster hits, like the earthquakes in Haiti or Chile, and people are suddenly forced to flee their homes in order to be safe and secure.
Armed conflict rages through a country and entire communities find themselves on the move to escape the violence.

These are but two classic examples of what causes people to become forcibly uprooted, cut off from their livelihoods and communities, making them utterly vulnerable without access to the most basic necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, education, etc.

World Refugee Day 2008

As the lead agency for refugees, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), under the leadership of António Guterres from Portugal, is currently responsible for 32.9 million persons. According to UNHCR, this number includes 9.9 million refugees, 12.8 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and 740,000 asylum-seekers. International protection is the core of UNHCR’s work and includes making sure that the basic human rights of refugees are being met and that nobody is returned involuntarily to a country where he or she has reason to fear persecution.


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